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Thank you and an honest review

Started by tasmonia, February 27, 2011, 10:24:41 PM

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First of all, thank you all so much for bringing this series that I grew up with, and loved like no other computer game since then, back to life! Truly, nothing has ever lived up to KQ for me--it challenged me and my entire family and introduced me (along with Carmen Sandiego, I suppose) to computer gaming.

I'd just like to share some thoughts, experiences, and feedback, which could aid future episodes.

Overall I really enjoyed this game, and I got engrossed in the characters, the voices, the lovely scenery, the music, and the rich storytelling. It certainly stumped me in a few places, as a good KQ game should. I thought Episode 3 was a good length, and I look forward to the next installment.

I did have a problem with the game freezing up in Windows 7, and I checked for Windows drivers, but I don't think I have them. I would just have to open Task Manager and shut it down manually and start back up again. The problem was worst on Isle of Mists, with all the fog and water. I still muddled through, though!

Episode 1 and 2 were a bit tough for me. I thought that it might have been better simply to produce it as a movie and tell players that before you start the game there's a 30 minute movie to watch. I kept expecting to be launched into my point and click adventure, but there would be more exposition and cut scenes. Also, there were points that felt disjointed and extraneous. Overall, once I started Episode 3, I found that it could have stood alone without the introduction.

In general, I'd say that the game could have used more "show, don't tell" and tidier dialogue with less click-through. Like, it's not necessary to have to exchanged 6-8 lines of dialogue to say goodbye to someone I have to talk to countless times. Also, most of the feedback blurbs (like when you touch yourself or do something silly) lacked the lightheartedness of the original series (maybe that's Roberta's fault for being a genius?) or required many clicks.

More showing and less telling would allow the player to figure out the background story on their own and leave more to mystery and imagination.

Beyond those things, though, I loved it!

I thought the voice acting was amazing--I would have never expected that from a non-commercial game. The music was lovely and set the scene well without getting annoying. I liked that we got to explore a little more of the islands we already know and love. My favorite part hands-down was the emerald tree--absolutely gorgeous! Also, Cassima is so beautiful--I can't wait to see Alexander and Rosella when they wake up.

Puzzle-wise, you guys accomplished the 'impossible', if you go by other so-called puzzle games on the market: you integrated puzzles seamlessly into the gameplay and made some truly challenging stumpers. I'm so sick of getting a 'puzzle' game and finding it's nothing but pretty backgrounds and nice music, with a tic-tac-toe board superimposed on a door! Or a linear series of things to collect, without any critical thinking about how to get them!

Serious kudos to Phoenix Online. This has to be the best fan-driven production of any kind that I've encountered. Regardless of its fan origins or its relationship to KQ, Episode III is a plain ol' good game as well. I can't wait for Episode IV!


I have to say, I pretty much agree with everything in Tasmonia's review.  And sometimes the dialogue or descriptions were worded a bit awkwardly (in some ways I'm kind of a writing nerd)...but honestly, I really didn't mind that kind of stuff, because I really, really enjoyed the game as a whole.  I was so happy with the depth of the puzzles, the exploration of new places, the very interesting and unique section relating to Valanice, the way elements from past King's Quest stories were integrated into the storyline of TSL, and the length of the episode.  I had a blast playing Episode III, and I definitely stayed up too late a couple of nights because I got wrapped up in the game.  I thought the puzzles showed a good variety of difficulty levels - some were easy wins, some I had to use a bit more reasoning or trial and error, and some I was a bit stuck on for a while.  EXCELLENT job on the game.  Can't wait for Episode IV! (Oh, and also, I had a fabulous time clicking around in the pawn shop - I loved how KQVI had all kinds of clickable things in there with lots of little easter eggs, and I really appreciated the new stuff in TSL.)